The Spaniards won’t be getting carried with their first-leg win, according to their manager
The Spanish side will take a 1-0 lead back to Anfield after Saul Niguez’s early goal gave them a win in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against the Premier League leaders and defending European champions.
Clips were subsequently shared on social media following Atleti’s win of their players celebrating the triumph during a recovery session.
“I have always said that extremes are bad,” Simeone told a news conference when asked about the criticism Atleti had received for celebrating their win, with Liverpool defender Andy Robertson having suggested the Spanish side were acting as if they had already won the tie.
“There are no extremes in the locker room. We have seen that people lived with the negative results and when we see positive results the opposite happens.
“But we know that La Liga is long, that the Champions League is very hard and the balance is in maintaining consistency.
“In the same way that I am saddened by defeats, we must celebrate the victories. Liverpool was a first half. The second one remains.”
Joao Felix has been included in the squad for Sunday’s match and Simeone is thrilled to be able to have his record signing back in the group.
“What excites me is that they are all in the squad. That generates internal competition,” Simeone said.
“When Joao Felix and [Diego] Costa have been away, [Angel] Correa and Vitolo played and this generated a lot of internal competition.
“It also happened with [Jose] Gimenez and [Stefan] Savic, with Felipe and [Mario] Hermoso. This internal competition generates growth and improvement.”
Simeone’s side are looking to reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s biggest knockout tournament for the first time since 2017, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester City en-route to a semi-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid.